Elitefts Bench Press Set-Up

TAGS: The Spot Athletics, technique, bench press, JL Holdsworth

Part 1: Leg Drive for Bench Press

Are you struggling to increase your bench press? Is your upper body getting beat up in the process? If your bench press doesn’t have proper leg drive, you’re leaving half of your body out of the lift and holding yourself back from heavier weight and new PRs. In his second installment of his Friday technique videos, JL Holdsworth shows how to set up to maximize leg drive in your bench press. Holdsworth claims that setting up properly, as he shows in the video, could increase your numbers by 10 to 15 percent.

Holdsworth covers how to:

1.  Get tight before unracking the bar

2. Place feet to allow drive without raising your hips

3. Fully engage leg drive at the proper time

4. Push with your heels from a tucked position

5. Decrease range of motion in shoulder to prevent injury

Part 2: Bench Press Grip

In this Friday Technique Video edition, JL Holdsworth shows how and where to grip the bar for the bench press. A lot of lifters let their wrists bend back during the bench press. These same lifters will use the tightest wrist wraps available but still can’t seem to keep the bar in line with their wrists and elbows. Holdsworth explains why this is problematic for the lockout and shares his own experience with missed bench attempts.

Holdsworth explains how to:

1. Avoid the dangers of a thumbless grip

2. Properly place the bar in your hands

3. Wrap your thumbs

4. Squeeze with your pinkies

5. Keep your elbows and wrists in line with the bar

Part 3: Foot Placement for the Bench Press

In this edition of Friday Technique Video, JL Holdsworth looks at the very start of the bench press—the setup. Because each lifter’s body is different, the optimal setup for the bench press will vary. To find your best setup, Holdsworth says that you should look at the length of your bench stroke and the placement of your feet. By experimenting with foot placement, you’ll find the setup that gives the shortest bench stroke and strongest leg drive.

Holdsworth demonstrates these four options for foot placement:

1. Tucked

2. Untucked

3. Wide

4. Narrow

For tucked positions, your feet will be near or behind your butt. Only your toes will be on the floor but by pushing your heels down (you won’t be able to touch) you increase the arch and leg drive.

For feet out, the knees will be slightly in front of the feet. Again, the heels down cue is vital for leg drive and improved positioning.

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